Last Saturday, February 23, 2019, took place the R Forwards Women’s Package Workshop in Chicago at Center for Spatial Data Science, where Angela Li (CivicAngela) and Stephanie Kirmer (data_stephanie) conducted the workshop. 40 R-Ladies attended from different parts of the Chicago area to increase their abilities with R.
Image Caption: Women’s Package Development Workshop Attendees
What do we learn? We learned about packages, which are the fundamental units of reproducible R code.
For our January R-Ladies Chicago Meetup, five Chicago R-Ladies presented lightning talks on topics they learned about at rstudio::conf 2019. Three of our organizers attended workshops on diversity scholarships, so we were especially excited to hear what they learned. Natalie Jorion also volunteered to speak, and we ended up having a total of five speakers! Each person spoke for 10 minutes on a subject they thought was interesting.
Topics of the night included deep learning, improving data project organization, tips for Shiny applications, reproducible research, and contributing to open source.
The City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have made data on annual enrollments, school locations, and other school features available to the public. After a bit of wrangling (frankly maybe more than just a bit) these data can be used in R to get key visualizations.
My own interest in the schools data began with a desire to understand more about the spread of charter schools in the city, and also more about the sharp enrollment declines that some regular public high schools have experienced since the early ’00s.
At R-Ladies, we want everyone to feel welcome, especially women and minority genders. Our favorite part of R-Ladies is cultivating an inclusive learning community–it is a challenge, but well worth it. As an R Community, where we are passionate about what we do in R, accessibility and inclusivity also means cultivating a welcoming environment for R users of all levels–from beginner to expert to everyone in between.
The Chicago organizing team works hard to plan our events intentionally where there is a combination of tutorials, talks about specific topics, and social events that showcase the strengths and address the interests of the local R-Ladies community.